Australia jobless at 4-year high, revives rate cut risk
SYDNEY (REUTERS) - Australia suffered a surprising drop in employment in August that pushed the jobless rate up to a four-year high of 5.8 percent, a disappointingly soft report that revived the chance of a cut in interest rates and knocked the local dollar lower.
The currency skidded by almost one US cent as Thursday's data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed employers shed a net 10,800 workers in August, well below forecasts of a 10,000 increase and a second straight month of losses.
The jobless rate was the highest since August 2009, when the economy was weathering the global financial crisis, and would have been even higher if not for an unexpected drop in the participation rate.
The local dollar was plucked off a six-month high of US$0.9355 (S$1.19) and unceremoniously dumped to US$0.9260 following the data.